Uncomfortably Exciting - Being a S.M.A.R.T. Leader

Being a manager or a leader is not a choice or a job description. Success comes from being both and balancing them effectively.

D. Brown Management Profile Picture
Share

Managers must set goals that are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound.  Leaders must be stretching their teams toward objectives that are beyond what anyone believes they can achieve

Quote: Always work hard on something uncomfortably exciting. Larry Page.

John Doerr and Larry Page describe these as two different types of OKRs (Objectives & Key Results):

Committed

These are the management level OKRs that must be accomplished no matter what:  

  1. Ask “What must be done?”
  2. Develop a plan
  3. Work that plan every day
  4. Follow up relentlessly. 

“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”

Winston Churchill

Aspirational

These are the leadership level OKRs that, as Larry Page describes, must make the whole team “uncomfortably excited.” 

Aim high and ask the harder question:  “What would have to be true for this strategy to work?” rather than the simpler question of “What is currently true?” 

This is the difference between how an architect approaches things from the top down versus a builder who typically approaches from the foundation up.  




Changing a Good Decision Making Process Based on Results
Construction projects are complex requiring thousands of decisions made across dozens of teams over many months to ultimately result in a good outcome. As a leader in the construction industry the majority of your value-add is.
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Few things will enhance performance faster than deliberate practice, a rigorous feedback loop and enough cycles to build the competency. Here are the common challenges many people face.
Agile Project Management vs. Critical Path Method
The Critical Path Method of project management is very commonly used on construction projects. CPM does not work as well in situations where there are significant “Known-Unknowns” about the plan CPM really breaks down when there are “Unknown-Unknowns”: